Space Bar Oddity


J

Jan

I am using Word 2007. I have downloaded certain articles from various online
newspapers and copied them into Word as "paste special" (unformatted text).
When I place my cursor at the very start of some lines (the left margin) and
press the space bar I can create a space before the word, but on lines it
seems that the space bar is not working because I cannot create a space.
What could be causing this problem?
 
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J

Jay Freedman

To see better what's happening, click the ¶ button on the Home tab of the
ribbon -- now you'll see a dot in the middle of each space, the ¶ symbol
(paragraph mark) at the end of each paragraph, or a line break that looks
like a left-pointing arrow (more at
http://www.word.mvps.org/FAQs/Formatting/NonPrintChars.htm).

If you insert a space at the beginning of a line that immediately follows a
paragraph mark or a line break, the space will stay there and push the rest
of the line to the right.

But if you insert a space at the beginning of a line that doesn't follow a
paragraph mark or a line break (an automatic line wrap), the space will be
moved to the end of the preceding line. Word doesn't care how many spaces
there are at the end of a line. That's why it seems that nothing happens
there.

It's possible to set a "compatibility option" to keep the spaces at the left
regardless of what kind of line it is, but that's really not good practice.
For that matter, using spaces to indent a line isn't good practice; instead,
use the Left Indent setting in the Paragraph Format dialog, or a style that
includes the indent.

--
Regards,
Jay Freedman
Microsoft Word MVP
Email cannot be acknowledged; please post all follow-ups to the newsgroup so
all may benefit.
 
J

Jan

Thanks. I'll see what happens.

Jay Freedman said:
To see better what's happening, click the ¶ button on the Home tab of the
ribbon -- now you'll see a dot in the middle of each space, the ¶ symbol
(paragraph mark) at the end of each paragraph, or a line break that looks
like a left-pointing arrow (more at
http://www.word.mvps.org/FAQs/Formatting/NonPrintChars.htm).

If you insert a space at the beginning of a line that immediately follows
a paragraph mark or a line break, the space will stay there and push the
rest of the line to the right.

But if you insert a space at the beginning of a line that doesn't follow a
paragraph mark or a line break (an automatic line wrap), the space will be
moved to the end of the preceding line. Word doesn't care how many spaces
there are at the end of a line. That's why it seems that nothing happens
there.

It's possible to set a "compatibility option" to keep the spaces at the
left regardless of what kind of line it is, but that's really not good
practice. For that matter, using spaces to indent a line isn't good
practice; instead, use the Left Indent setting in the Paragraph Format
dialog, or a style that includes the indent.

--
Regards,
Jay Freedman
Microsoft Word MVP
Email cannot be acknowledged; please post all follow-ups to the newsgroup
so all may benefit.
 
J

Jay Freedman

Go to Office button > Word Options > Advanced. Scroll all the way to the
bottom and click the plus sign on "Layout Options" to expand the list. Check
the box for the last option, "Wrap training spaces to next line".

Note that this option, like all the ones in the Layout Options list, applies
only to the current document.
 
J

Jan Groshan

Thanks again. I'm always amazed at how much information is available
through news groups by knowledgeable users who are willing to take their
time to share their wisdom.
 
J

Jan Groshan

This worked fine......but then I discovered if I simply go to the end of the
previous line and hit "enter" (thereby inserting a paragraph symbol), I can
then move the beginning of the next line. That seems like a faster way to
accomplish what I'm trying to do.
 
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S

Suzanne S. Barnhill

A better solution, if you want the next line to be part of the same
paragraph, is to insert a line break (Shift+Enter). But, depending on what
you want to do, you may need a tab (preceded by a line break) or a hanging
indent, which is completely automatic. A hanging indent should be used when
you want every line after the first to be indented. And of course if what
you want is a first-line indent, then you should use that.

--
Suzanne S. Barnhill
Microsoft MVP (Word)
Words into Type
Fairhope, Alabama USA
http://word.mvps.org
 

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